This was my response to the following comment by Dea on “Digital Footprints Essential in Modern Job Hunt: “…how can you get rid of a questionable posting [on a social media website]? …How do you suggest overcoming questionable hits that come up on a search but don’t fully represent one’s work or the context of the situation?”

The best way to take control of your digital footprint is to post regularly on sites YOU own, control, and claim. You can’t take control of things other people post, but you certainly CAN and should ask them to take down (or at least “un-tag” you) in photos you don’t want online. By using a variety of sites to search for yourself and pages/sites which reference you, you can get a sense of what employers and others who Google/search for you are finding and can find. As you post more content AS yourself, using profiles on a blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. on which you use your REAL name, those posts should rise in pagerank. (That means they should come up higher in search results.) Commenting on other social networking sites, using your profile links, will also help to improve your pagerank for your OWN sites which you control and WANT people to see first, or at least primarily, when they are looking for you online.

What advice would you offer to Dea for taking control of her digital footprint?

footprints
Creative Commons License photo credit: Stéphane Moussie

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